UCSF Sustainability Stories
Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, September 2016
USCF SunShares Offers UCSF Community Discounts on Solar Installations and Zero Emission Vehicles
When you walk past the electric cars charging in one of UCSF’s parking lots, do you have a case of car envy? Or maybe you are ready to explore how to install solar energy at home and not sure where to start? A new program at UCSF is offering the UCSF community discounts and free education on solar and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).
UCSF Joins Bay Area 2016 SunShares
UCSF has joined nearly forty cities, counties, and major employers to participate in the new and improved SunShares program. Under the SunShares program, any Bay Area resident (as well as residents of Sacramento and Yolo counties) can purchase discounted ZEVs, including the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, or install rooftop solar, at prices well below market rates. The program also offers free workshops that can help homeowners, drivers, and renters understand their clean energy options.
The new and improved SunShares program offers three key benefits for 2016:
- Group discounts on solar (starting at 15% below market rates) and zero emission vehicles;
- Vetted vendors and free, third party workshops; and
- Options for homeowners, renters, and drivers.
Bay Area SunShares is a community-wide clean energy program that expands access to solar energy and zero-emission vehicles for Bay Area residents via discounts and free workshops. This year, SunShares is also introducing a zero-emission vehicle discount option on the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Mirai. Previous SunShares programs have led to almost 5 MWs of new solar installed across Northern California, enough to power over 820 homes. This year’s program is the largest to date, and the first to fully incorporate a ZEV discount component, as well as education on new options for renters.
Administered by the Business Council on Climate Change (a fiscally sponsored project of the 501(c)3 organization, Community Initiatives), SunShares helps solar and ZEV companies reduce high costs associated with customer education and acquisition, which in turn allows the firms to offer discounted pricing. These so-called “soft costs” are widely seen as one of the primary barriers to accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies.
“The Bay Area SunShares program is a prime example of how Bay Area companies and local governments are joining forces to create local solutions towards a clean energy future,” said Christina Armor, SunShares Manager with the Business Council on Climate Change. “The program is especially innovative because it helps businesses and the community work together to make it simple and affordable for people get off of fossil fuels.”
Three Solar Vendors to Pick From and Reduced Rates on ZEVs
A volunteer community evaluation committee selected three solar vendors (PetersenDean, Skytech Solar, and Sunrun) and two ZEV vendors (Premier Nissan of San Jose and San Francisco Toyota) to serve as vendors for the 2016 Bay Area SunShares program, following a competitive RFP process. Reduced rates are available for the 2016 Nissan Leaf all electric vehicle and the new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Pricing for residential solar starts at 15% below market rates and participants can sign up to receive a no-obligation quote for their home.
2016 Program Expanded to Include Renters
The program also helps renters connect with location-specific information about new utility programs that will allow anyone to buy more renewable energy through the grid. Individuals participating in SunShares can get neutral information on their clean energy options at over 20 free workshops being held across the Bay Area.
Five Simple Steps
Help support UCSF reach its clean energy goals and support a clean energy future. Here are five simple steps to take:
- Visit the SunShares website and sign up. At the bottom of the form you can indicate which of the three programs you are interested in.
- If you want more information first, you can attend one of the free workshops that will be given to help you understand the basics of solar, zero-emission vehicles, financing options, your options as a renter, and answer any questions.
- If you are interested in home solar, they will send your information to the vetted solar contractors to schedule a no-obligation consultation. Three pre-vetted solar installers were selected and will work with you to schedule your home solar evaluation. Register by November 4th to receive a no-cost solar proposal. Once you receive a proposal, there is no obligation to move forward with your project. Sign your solar contract by November 18, 2016 to move forward with solar installation and take advantage of the discounted program pricing.
- If you are interested in ZEVs, SunShares will send you a discount code that you can take to participating renewable energy programs.
- For renters, you will receive information based on your location.
Hurry. Offer Expires November 4, 2016
SunShares registration launch on August 10th. So far, 350 people have signed up for more information about residential solar and purchasing a zero-emission vehicle! And one customer has already signed a contract for 5.13 K/W.
Help Us Spread the Word
This is a limited time offer! Please help us spread the word to more participants. A suggested Tweet is below—just click on the retweet button (the two double arrows) in the sample post below.
Or post this POSTER in your office kitchen or break room (attach PDF of poster). Then, stick a post-it note on the flyer that says, “Look at me!!”. This tactic has been working wonders in the SF Environment’s office…Try it in yours!